One of the biggest highlights of winters is most definitely a skiing holiday. A skiing destination is not just about fluffy snow. Some places have great after ski fun while other places offer exotic and delicious food. Some have slopes which are easier to navigate and others are more fun and adventurous for advanced skiers. The list doesn’t end here and there are lot more on the plate. Some places are picturesque with beautiful scenic beauty, some are busy while others are relatively quieter. There is a lot to consider before you even start looking at the skiing destinations.
While there are plenty of popular destinations to choose from, we have compiled a list of the five best places to go on a skiing holiday. Hopefully, this list will ease your search and help you find the most stunning place for your next holiday. Shall we begin our search?
1) Alpe d’Huez, France
France is one of the top places for skiing and is favorite amongst the ski lovers. There are plenty of facilities for the ski enthusiasts. The mountains are magnificent, the slopes are beautiful and there are some lovely resorts. The French-Alps are the most sought after destination for skiing.
Alpe d’Huez is located high up in the French alps. It has some nice sunny slopes that gives you a good view as well while skiing. The beginner terrain is really good but what steals the show are the off-piste routes, black runs, and the occasional tough reds . Alpe d’Huez is a fairly large, purpose-built resort right in the middle of the ski area. Some of the big attractions are a rocket-shaped church and some activities for the non-skiers like archery and a spa treatment for relaxation. Alpe d’Huez also provides the opportunity for a night skiing and tobogganing. There is an extensive web of gentle runs for beginners. Last but not the least you can do some testing blacks and reds, especially if you are comfortable with mogul fields.
If you are a pro-skier this is the destination to be as Alpe d’Huez won the award for the Best European Ski Resort 2019.
The closest airports:
Grenoble-Isère Airport – 66 miles (1.5 hours drive)
Geneva Airport – 133 miles (3 hours drive)
2) Whistler-Blackcomb, Canada
Canada regularly tops the charts for the best skiing destination. The huge enormous forests, towering mountains, and the breathtaking scenic beauty of Canada makes it a picture perfect destination for skiing.
As you can guess it combines the ski terrain of the two mountains Whistler and Blackcomb. Initially operating as rivals these two ski resorts merged in 2003 and in doing so became the largest ski resort in all of North America. It also boasts of the largest uphill lift capacity. There is a gondola which connects the two peaks.
The resort also played host to the 2010 Winter Olympics. The resort covers an astonishing 8171 acres in total terrain. With more than 200 marked trails and an hourly lift capacity of almost 70000 this resort has something to offer to every patron who visits. It also has a total of 18 mountain top restaurants and numerous boutiques and shopping centres.
Operations individually since 1966 and 1980, the Whistler-Blackcomb resort has consistently ranked as one of the best skiing resorts in the world. It offers a 20-55-25 % split in the terrain type between beginner-intermediate-advanced skiers. It also offers a wide variety in terms of terrain with inbound backcountry, glaciers, bowls interspersed with tree trails and 5 terrain parks.
You can also choose accommodations ranging from Luxury hotels to condos. There is a pedestrian-only path which is full of exquisite dining spaces and art galleries and shopping boutiques.
The closest airport:
Vancouver International Airport – 85 miles (2 hours drive)
3) Zermatt, Switzerland
Switzerland has a lot of wonderful mountains including the Alps and it goes without saying that skiing is ubiquitous to the country. Switzerland has more than 300 ski resorts which means there are ski places for all manner of skiers. Zermatt is the crown jewel of all the ski resorts in Switzerland.
Zermatt is the highest winter sports resort in the Alps. The altitude is between 2500 and 3900 meters and has a vertical drop of around 2100 metres. The resort itself is built on the backdrop of the glorious Mount Matterhorn. From the summit of the Matterhorn a skier has a choice to either descend into Switzerland or into Italy over the Theodul pass.
Zermatt also has the highest 3S cableway in the world. The place is open throughout the year in a picture perfect postcard style setting and around 2000 people an hour can participate simultaneously in the Matterhorn glacier skiing path.
The resort also offers an app for free to all patrons which helps them navigate through the resort and also time their exploits. It also provides safety precautions and tells users what the current open pistes and lifts are.
Wonderful restaurants adorn the mountain top and caters to every whim of the patrons.
The closest Airports:
Zurich Airport 160 miles (3.5 hours drive)
Geneva Airport 142 miles (2.5 hours drive)
4) St Anton am Arlberg, Austria
Austria is one of the best destinations for both beginners and experts. Other than its flashy facade, Austria offers for world-class skiing with many unmarked trails. Its perfect if you want to experience the thrill, the adventure and the adrenaline rush of off-piste skiing. Austria is one of the most idyllic and picturesque skiing destinations in the world and has beautiful ski towns and traditional villages to explore and experience.
Perched in Austria’s Alberg, St. Anton is one the most popular places to ski not only in Europe but in the world. It has one of the most challenging runs in the Alps and thus this place is designed for serious and experienced ski lovers only. It is not the place for beginners although for strong intermediaries there are a number of terrains to ski. St Anton offers one of the best off-piste opportunities for advanced and professional skiers and its mega-moguls. “The White Thrill” which is the longest downhill piste in Arlberg is in St Anton. This place is also known for an important historical event in the ski history. The first ski club in the Alps started here in 1901, no wonder St Anton is a legendary name for ski enthusiasts.
There are plenty of cafés, inns and hotels in the village. The village is also a lively place and is known for its boisterous après- scene ski.
There is a ski bus that can take less advanced skiers to the nearby slopes of Lech and Zürs. Both these slopes are included in the regional Arlberg lift pass, which covers a total of 340 kilometers of slopes and pistes. Another very big advantage of St. Anton has one other advantage, it can be reached by train.
The closest airports:
Innsbruck Airport 62 miles (1 hour drive)
Memmingen 105 miles (2 hours drive)
5) Ruka, Finland
Finland has no mountains but instead has some great hills which are covered with snow for more than half a year. Thanks to its northern location and an efficient snowing systems Finland is one of the top destinations for skiing. Finland provides an opportunity to enjoy skiing for both absolute beginners, small children and professional skiers. Most of the slopes are pretty easy with plenty family slopes and some wide and not very long as well. But there are also some world-class race slopes that are extremely challenging for the expert skier. There are a number of parks and streets to enjoy for the snowboarders and new school skiers.
The ski resort Ruka is located in Northern Ostrobothnia (Pohjois-Pohjanmaa) in Finland, Northern Finland. Ruka is believed to be one of the best ski resorts in the Nordics. It has hosted 8 World Cup contests every November/ December. There are 18.9 km of slopes for skiing and snowboarding . There is a winter sports area as well which is situated between the elevations of 291 and 492 m.
October to May is the season for skiing. Ruka is one of the most snow secure Ski Resorts in Europe and the reason for this is the favorable climate, as well as in the high-quality snow making machinery.
Ruka is a popular resort set in a pristine Finnish landscape and is the ideal place for skiing for both beginners and pros. Another major attraction is their legendary Spring Break festival and Wappalounas, a snowboarder jam session with some amazing live music on the pistes.
The closest airport:
Kuusamo Airport 17 miles (15 minutes drive)
When going on a holiday to a ski destination it is important to consider not just the ski terrain but also amenities and entertainment options for every member of the family. It is also important to pick the correct ski path and terrain which is closest to your skill level. We hope you have a wonderful time skiing with your family. This concludes our list of Five best places to go on a skiing holiday.